Print 69 comment(s) - last by AlphaVirus.. on Mar 4 at 3:30 PM

MacBook Air is hard to find in many large markets despite high price

When Apple first announced the MacBook Air, it was met with oohs and ahs form Apple fans and non-Apple fans alike. The Air is a very attractive notebook, even if it does have a wealth of odd issues prospective owners have to live with.

Even though the MacBook Air has generated lots of praise for its design and thin construction, the notebook has taken a few hits for its lack of a user-replaceable battery, meager performance, lack of more USB ports and a missing GbE connection onboard.

According to Ars Technica, even with the caveats of MacBook Air ownership, the demand is apparently still high leading to long wait times for shipping and frequent sell outs at Apple stores in large markets. Amazon says its MacBook Air orders won’t be shipping until March 16 and Best Buy has been low on systems as well.

It makes sense that Apple resellers like Amazon and Best Buy would be low on stock since Apple is having a hard time keeping its own retail stores supplied with the Air. Some stores in and around Boston were out of stock and store employees said that some would be Air owners were opting to spend the significantly higher price on the SSD equipped Air because it tends to be in stock longer.

Apple stores in large markets like LA, New York City and Chicago get daily shipments and are still not able to keep a regular stock of the Air. However, it seems that Apple fans in smaller markets may have an easier time getting their hands on the MacBook Air -- one Apple Store in Indianapolis reported that it had more than enough stock to meet demand.

The real question behind the shortages of MacBook Air systems is if the demand is really that high, or perhaps did Apple simply not order enough of the machines making them hard to keep in stock. Whatever the reason the Air is hard to get in some areas, there is little doubt that the computer has proven to be surprisingly popular despite the issues it may have.

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RE: Not surprised
By Cygni on 3/3/2008 3:48:27 PM , Rating: 2
Its a good looking, well polished, well marketed thin-and-light that people can walk into any Best Buy and purchase.

Despite some hardcore techies pooh-poohing it, its going to sell like hotcakes.

RE: Not surprised
By Brandon Hill on 3/3/2008 3:51:40 PM , Rating: 3
I'll admit, I walked into Best Buy and played with one. I was simply astounded by its thinness, weight and build quality... even the accessory door seemed very well built.

The pricing and lack of expandability, however, limited my time with the device to just a quick look over.

RE: Not surprised
By Master Kenobi on 3/3/2008 3:57:21 PM , Rating: 4
With it's price tag it won't sell like hot cakes after the initial "money is no object" crowd get theirs. If it was a few hundred dollars lower then yea, it would sell like hot cakes.

RE: Not surprised
By TheDoc9 on 3/3/2008 4:11:53 PM , Rating: 4
They like it now because of how cool it looks. Lets just wait and see how much they like it in a few months when they realize they can't do anything but type documents and browse the net.

RE: Not surprised
By eman7613 on 3/3/2008 7:53:47 PM , Rating: 3
thats kind of the whole point & intended market of the laptop, and is the major demographic of what people use computers for! No person in the right mind, is going to get a ultra portable for gaming, or for upgradability. Its like harping on someone for riding a bike to wear they need to go because thats all it does, well some people only need a bike!

RE: Not surprised
By EndPCNoise on 3/3/2008 4:16:56 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, I agree Kenobi about the "money is no object crowd". Notice it only sold out in few major cities (LA, NY, Chicago) where most of the Apple liberals live.

RE: Not surprised
By TomZ on 3/3/2008 4:20:10 PM , Rating: 1
That's exactly what folks said about the iPhone, yet it still seems to sell like crazy.

I dislike Apple as much as the next guy, but you've got to admit they have the Midas touch at the moment. They are emphasizing form over function at relatively high price points, and it seems to be just what people want.

RE: Not surprised
By Master Kenobi on 3/3/2008 4:25:17 PM , Rating: 2
Not a good idea when the economy is in a downturn.

RE: Not surprised
By omnicronx on 3/3/2008 5:07:56 PM , Rating: 3
Thats what credit cards are for ;)

RE: Not surprised
By MonkeyPaw on 3/3/2008 6:25:16 PM , Rating: 3
...and foreclosures! :p

RE: Not surprised
By UNCjigga on 3/3/2008 7:52:51 PM , Rating: 2
Well I won't even look at one unless Apple lowers it to my "magic price", my internal reference price where I can justify buying one and where this machine becomes a good deal. My reference price is $1499--though I might even swing at $1599 (take the hint Apple!!)

RE: Not surprised
By TomZ on 3/3/2008 5:13:23 PM , Rating: 5
The economy being in a downturn isn't much of a big deal for most folks. On a broad scale, GDP may dip a tiny bit, unemployment and inflation might edge up a little, but for most people life just goes on.

RE: Not surprised
By treehugger87 on 3/4/2008 2:07:21 AM , Rating: 2
I think you mean that the GDP growth rate or economic growth rate will decrease, opposed to GDP in real dollars. Because the US will still be growing, just at a slower rate, because a recession means that the growth rate has decreased, and a depression could mean a decrease in GDP in real dollars ie. making it the more severe economic downturn.

RE: Not surprised
By TomZ on 3/4/2008 1:52:00 PM , Rating: 3
No, the term "recession" means actual decline in GDP, i.e., negative GDP growth rate. I believe what you describe is typically called a "slowdown."

RE: Not surprised
By prenox on 3/3/2008 4:34:09 PM , Rating: 5
the iphone was a cellphone with more functions.
the air is a thin laptop with less functions.

RE: Not surprised
By JoshuaBuss on 3/3/2008 6:10:16 PM , Rating: 2
excellent point.

RE: Not surprised
By Souka on 3/4/2008 3:20:28 PM , Rating: 2
two people in my department at my work have is a die-hard mac user...

both say.. "it's an OK phone..." "web browsing is fine if you don't have a computer handy, but slow"

and both say, "but its oool to own"

*sigh*... I'm a fat ugly bastard....I want usability/features for the $$... not "image".

Hence... if I were to buy a unltra portable laptop... I'd consider the Lenovo x300...features it has over macAir: lighter, replaceable battery, optical drive, usb ports, ethernet, video out, modem, upgradable to 4GB or RAM, multi-card reader, and IMHO will prove to be more durable.

RE: Not surprised
By hiscross on 3/3/2008 9:21:10 PM , Rating: 2
I'm the next guy and I like Apple and it's products.

RE: Not surprised
By pxavierperez on 3/4/2008 3:06:08 PM , Rating: 2
i'm always curious why people in this forum always seemed the need to make that type of disclaimer "I am not an apple fan," or "I dislike apple," and such before voicing their opinions.

It's possible that Apple's cultist status may also stem from those who despise it.

Back on topic: when I upgraded my laptop to a Thinkpad T43p it was so important that I have the next gen express card and quite upset it didn't have a firewire port. albeit in the end i have yet found the need for them. Often times users demand more than what is actually used. I suppose it gives them a sense of security.

RE: Not surprised
By robinthakur on 3/4/2008 4:52:59 AM , Rating: 2
The iPhone hardly lacks function as it is. In terms of features of the phone which I use, I do utilise most of them, which I haven't on my previous phones necessarily as after play-time to check out all the functions, some were quite obscure or fiddly. I think you also need to look at the difference between what you want from the Air and what 90% of Apple's target market would want from it. There's a big difference.

I personally would not buy an Air, I would rather buy a macbook pro because it fits my usage profile better. Not everybody is affected by the economic downturn equally, and Apple's target audience (read: more affluent consumers) will likely be affected less than most.

I do find it amusing when dailytech US readers comment on Apple-loving Liberals living in LA/NY etc lol, not like those Thinkpad-owning hawks from Washington/Texas...

RE: Not surprised
By afkrotch on 3/4/2008 9:58:24 AM , Rating: 2
by TomZ

That's exactly what folks said about the iPhone, yet it still seems to sell like crazy.

I dislike Apple as much as the next guy, but you've got to admit they have the Midas touch at the moment. They are emphasizing form over function at relatively high price points, and it seems to be just what people want.

Umm...Apple TV anyone? Oh yah....forgot. It bombed.

RE: Not surprised
By Omega215D on 3/3/2008 10:12:47 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't figure Chicago to be an Apple outpost. NYC and LA are not surprising since many people in those cities are fashion conscious (I'm from NYC) and you gotta look hip to be popular. Another thing to remember is that people from these big cities make more money than people from almost any other US city.

I'm happy with my basic MacBook that I got for a pretty low price for its features. By that I mean a 1" thick notebook that doesn't taper off anywhere making it a good fit into my backpack. So MacBooks have their uses, even one that's as castrated as the Air.

RE: Not surprised
By michal1980 on 3/4/08, Rating: -1
RE: Not surprised
By Hare on 3/4/2008 1:29:02 AM , Rating: 2
Do you actually have any idea where it's sold out?

Pick a few states and look at the red boxes:

RE: Not surprised
By eye smite on 3/3/2008 5:04:42 PM , Rating: 3
I'm betting most of the buyers are using it as a second computer though, I can't see this being their main system.

RE: Not surprised
By corduroygt on 3/3/2008 5:15:18 PM , Rating: 2
I'm thinking about the eee pc 900 as my travel companion actually, it's pretty much as capable as the MBA and it's only $600 + cost of SDHC card.

RE: Not surprised
By UNCjigga on 3/3/2008 7:58:32 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with the EeePC is that its a first-generation device, and Intel's already hyping up Atom/Centrino Atom, MIDs, etc. etc. and everyone knows better performance/battery life is right around the corner. I'm definitely in the market to upgrade my main laptop now (I have a 1st-gen Centrino that's showing its age despite memory/HD upgrades) and I do want a Mac, unfortunately Apple hasn't really refreshed their MacBook/MacBook Pro lineup yet. I'll wait until August to see what they do, otherwise I'll pick up another Dell Latitude. Then in 2009/2010 I can worry about getting a <3 lbs ultralight.

RE: Not surprised
By xti on 3/3/2008 5:34:35 PM , Rating: 2
not everyone is folding. There are people who just need a computer to write school papers and watch porn. oh, and online poker.

RE: Not surprised
By bplewis24 on 3/3/2008 5:57:09 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure why anybody would be surprised by this, considering the Mac fan base.


RE: Not surprised
By Joz on 3/4/2008 12:37:50 AM , Rating: 2
tell the people buying it about the Lenovo X300, give them a comparison sheet and watch em fly away.

<3 ThinkPad.

RE: Not surprised
By kelmon on 3/4/2008 7:16:23 AM , Rating: 3
That only works on someone contemplating switching from Windows to OS X. The X300 could have features out the wazzoo but it's not much use to me if it won't run my applications or, frankly, comes with an OS that drives me berserk. The X300 looks like a very nice computer, although its performance lags behind the Air at a higher price, and I'd appreciate the additional ports, but it's not a direct competitor to the MacBook Air (that would be the MacBook, primarily, and MacBook Pro).

RE: Not surprised
By DanoruX on 3/4/2008 2:06:16 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, since Apple can paint feces white, put their logo on it and have it sell millions to the legions of people who want their machines to "just work".

"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot
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